This is Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership. Podcast number 18, Training Through the Lens of your Culture. This is the third part of this training series. At Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, we have learned over and over that it’s a classic mistake that business speaker Tulsa owners and managers make in who they decide to do their training. Secondly, after that is they put their training into an event it’s a one-time, usually a one-time orientation, or a one-time workshop that either they do in their company or they send people away to do a training workshop. business speaker Tulsa
Again, the mindset here is that it is an event rather than an ongoing every single day activity that we do with our employees. We’ve been talking about training through the lens of your culture and how we create and sustain this culture of productivity, this culture of integrity, this culture of — whatever your core values are. We want to make sure that we are training through that lens. business speaker Tulsa
Here’s step number four today as we are continuing in this series with Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership. Our fourth power tool for training is your training must be continual and mandatory. All good to great companies, you may have read that book before, Good to Great. All good to great companies maintain a consistent and continual cycle of training. Again, it’s not just a one-time event but it is actually woven into the fabric of the company.
I’m not just talking about having meetings. These are regular mandatory, which is a great word, mandatory training sessions where you are focusing on a specific area of your business and making it remarkable and reproducible for others. You can’t just tell them once and then expect them to do it, “Hey, guys, let’s go out there and make it really remarkable today.” They’re going to have a different definition of what you mean by remarkable. You can’t just tell them once and expect them to do it, then get upset and in them when they don’t do it. business speaker Tulsa
Deliberate and consistent training radically improves employees’ understanding of the company, understanding of the objectives and also helps them to raise and set standards of performance. At Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, we have found over and over as we’re training and developing managers is that this is one of the biggest stress points for them, is that people aren’t doing what they have told them to do. The very first thing out of my mind is have you told them, or have you trained them? business speaker Tulsa
Of course, their very first response is, “Oh, no, we definitely have trained them.” When I begin to ask them what did the training look like? Tell me about your training process, 100% of the time, they go back to a single event of when they told the people what to do and how to do it. Beyond that, they expected them to get it done. Again, this is going back to that strong teacher mindset or strong manager mindset, as opposed to a trainer. business speaker Tulsa
If you don’t train, you can’t expect people to get to the next level. That’s why most companies stay small or have to continually address the same issues over and over and over. Does that sound familiar to you? Every single day, every single month, having to deal with the same issue.
I had a client down in Texas that every first Monday of the month, they had the same issues as they were trying to get out a certain tasks. They knew that it had to be done at the first of every month. The first of every month, they dealt with the same problems, the same issues. They never fixed it, because they never did do what we had talked about in the first step, which was have the right person in the right seat, having a trainer. The second step that we talked about putting it into a system. The third step training it through the lens of the culture. Finally, they didn’t have the on-going mindset they just had an event mindset. We’re going to do the training once.
Remember, learning is not something that everyone does naturally. Remember, the 90%, 90% of the population does not have a learning mindset. Since most of your employees will be reluctant to take the time to train you must make it fun. You must make it interesting. You must make it stimulating, and even exciting for them to be a part of. Above all, training must be mandatory. This cannot be just something that come if you can. It’s got to be mandatory. It’s got to be put on the schedule. It must be a non-negotiable ongoing event.
We retain most of the information that we are actively involved in, in our learning, such as when we participate in role-playing or other type of learning experiences. At the very best, always use visual aids because it drastically increases retention. If you just get together, if you stand up in front of your group and just start talking and doing like what I called data dumps, then it just becomes monotone really quickly.
Our training at Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership involves, how to actually set up these training classes and these training times. Just even the practical tools of colors that you want to use on a white board or colors you want to use on a flip chart. Again, data dumps are okay if it’s just initial sessions, when you have to rely on a lot of information. However, the highest retention will come from practical application and regular and consistent involvement.
This is where you’re pigheaded determination is going to be most challenged. This idea of ongoing training, consistent training. Again, you have to take a break from this idea of training is just an event. This idea of a trainer. A trainer will naturally, a developer will naturally embrace this idea of ongoing. Trainers just get out of bed every morning seeing training as something that is ongoing. A teacher will say, “Well, I need to teach this topic today and then we can move on.” Again, it doesn’t make them bad, it doesn’t make them wrong. It can just make it difficult if that is the only person that you have in the place of doing your training.
At Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, we train trainers. Ongoing training must fit into your culture if you want it to stick in the minds of hearts, and hearts of the people that you have in your company. Your culture must be modeled over and over and over again. It can be very hard to immerse someone into your culture at the beginning because you’re the only one. When you have just started your company, you’re the only one there. It’s vital to move into this gradually as you gain champions to your side one at a time. What is it that, the quote that we’ve all heard before? “Aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every single time.”
Another very common method that businesses use in their training process is something that we call the “tribal method of training and maintaining their culture.” Again, this was an idea that I got from Chet Holmes in the Ultimate Sales Machine. What you do is, you do this tribal method you bring in a new person and you have them just follow everybody else, just do what they’re doing. Just follow Susie today or follow Jeremy today.
As a result, what you’re doing is you’re putting — even if Susie and Jeremy are great people, it’s possible that they are having a bad day. As you have this new employee that begins to follow this person, they are following them on a bad day. All of a sudden, they’re cutting corners. They’re talking a certain way. They’re missing steps. What the new employee sees is this is how it’s done. The danger of not having your training systemized, not having it step-by-step written down, here’s how we do it.
There’s no formal methodology. There’s no classroom style training, no training manuals, no role playing. It’s just follow that person. Just watch and learn. Again, if that person is having a bad day and they have some bad attitudes, then you can learn that that’s the way it’s done. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the worst possible training system. Again, I see it all the time as I travel across the country as Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership helping managers and entrepreneurs with their training.
On the other hand, there are other organizations where the leadership decides the destination and the course that will be sailed. It involves classroom instruction and manuals and policies and procedures, and even maybe a test before that new employee even sits down with a Jeremy or Susie. Now, he’s equipped to see how Jeremy or Susie implements the company’s policies. He’ll actually be able to spot when they are doing it wrong.
We’ve talked about these five steps of the standardized five steps. You set the standard, teach the standard, model the standard, expect the standard, and inspect the standard. Once again, repetition is key to sustainability. I want to say that again, repetition is the key to sustainability. No one gets good at anything without repetition.
Sun Tzu from the Art of War says, “He will win whose army is animated with the same spirit throughout all its ranks.” We want to beware of the seminar hypnosis here, going to a seminar and coming back glowing with information only to find that glow fades after a few days or after a few weeks. The perception here is that you received a lot of value because you received a lot of information. In reality, without continuous follow up, very little sticks from a short one-shot training session. Now, one shot is better than no shot, but there is a better way.
What we want to do is rotate, rotate your core material regularly throughout ongoing and effective training. The same concepts are constantly reinforced and reiterated. Skills are impacted immediately in either training method. Skills are impacted permanently with constant repetition. When you get all your people speaking the same language and following the standardized processes and procedures, internal communication improves dramatically because everyone shares a deep and rich pool of the same knowledge base. So once again, it has to be consistent.
At Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, we do a lot of training on how to run training sessions. So this is Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership finishing podcast number 18, Training Through the Lens of Culture.
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Clay Staires